Why should I choose Bella Basements as my contractor?

There are many reasons! Above all, is that we take great pride in tailoring your basement finish project to your unique style and needs and doing it with an eye for meticulous detail. And, we do it with a personal touch. My wife and I have chosen to finish one custom basement at a time, so that we can focus on you, rather than handing your project to a Project Manager, or dividing out attention on multiple projects. Out client testimonials speak frequently of our innovative design and the benefits of working with a highly professional, integral, and detail-oriented couple!

How do I choose a basement contractor?

There are many options in contractors these days, almost as many as there are questions to be asked. But ultimately, the questions you must ask depend on your priorities. If time is your only factor, then you’ll be served to find the fastest. If price is your only factor, then you’ll be served to find the cheapest. But, to be “best” served, here is a short list of factors to consider:

  • Am I going to get undivided attention?
  • What is the quality of the construction? (View our Quality Specifications here)
  • Does the decision provide the highest functional use of space?
  • Will they respect my home, privacy, and property?
  • Do they have strong referrals? (we don’t select only the good ones, we always provide the current, and last 2 finished as our referrals)
  • Is there going to be consistent communication, and from someone who cares?

These are exactly the questions we asked ourselves when we designed our business model, and what our Bella Basement Promises are all about!

Is finishing my basement a good investment?

We think so, and so does the Denver Business Journal, “A basement finish is two to three times more cost effective in adding living space to a home than any other option.  Is there good value in finishing a basement?  Put simply: absolutely.  When both financial investment and lifestyle enrichment are properly matched with great design and construction, basement finishes return solid value.”

Read the whole article here:

How much will it cost to finish my basement?

The magic question!  And, yes, it depends!  Our base price doesn’t change substantially on a standard basement which typically includes labor and materials from design through the drywall finish process.  When we get into the finish selections, this is where we experience pricing fluctuations.  For example, a countertop can range from $15/yd to $85/yd. Flooring and cabinetry can vary greatly as well.  But to help you out with a rough estimation, in our experience a full turn-key basement finish typically ranges from $70-$75/sf. Adding amenities such as steam showers, wine cellars, virtual golf, and theaters can add to that price.  Square footage can have an impact as well, as the larger the basement, the greater the economy of scale.  We separate your finishes from your base price in our estimate, and include high-quality level allowances so that you are in control of your own cost.

According to the Denver Business Journal, “As a rule, plan on investing 12 percent to 25 percent of the cost of your home on a basement finish.  If you are hiring a general contractor and spending less than this, take a second look at what you are buying.”

How long will it take?

Of course, the larger and more complex or custom the basement is, the more time it will take. But to give you some idea to work with, we estimate a standard 1,000 sf basement to take between 5-7 weeks.

What about noise, dust, and interference during the project?

We can’t completely eliminate any of these, but we have designed special systems to minimize them all. For example, we will install plastic tenting, temporary walls and doors (with security systems), and special filter pads on your hot-water heater and air ducts to reduce dust. We also utilize negative air systems and air purifiers during the process which minimize any dust getting up into your living space. We always enter and leave through the basement either through a window or exterior door and utilize portalets to eliminate anyone needing to be in your living area. Noise is the hardest to control, but we provide a Project Calendar to let you know when the ‘noisy’ days will be, and of course, we are in direct contact with you daily to let you know what tomorrow brings.

We always recommend as part of your basement design, that clients have us install a cellulose net-and-blow ceiling insulation for sound deadening. Once this is installed, the remaining noise of construction will be reduced dramatically.

Is a kitchen allowed in my basement?

Yes, although having cooking appliances in your basement area, such as a stovetop or range, requires a few extra steps. In order to assure safety, proper electrical loads as well as venting are critical to take into account during design. There are alternatives to full cooking functionality, which might be of interest to you and reduce additional costs. We will discuss the full options with you upon Consult.

What if my basement floor has cracks and/or is heaving?

Colorado is a state that can play havoc with basement concrete pads, given the possibility of underlying bentonite soils. Bentonite is found along the Front Range and is classified as a swelling soil, which means it can absorb vast quantities of water during wet seasons, and then shrink during dryer months. Expansion joints are built into concrete floors to allow for this movement, but sometimes the pressure of the expansion soils can move the entire slab. There are solutions for this and they depend greatly on the amount of movement that you are experiencing. We will take a close look at your floor when we do our Consultation Meeting and discuss with you then.

Can we make changes after we start?

Of course! This is your basement, and you can have it any way you like. However, once the framing has begun it entails more time and materials adding to the cost. Because of this, we spend a lot of time during design to make sure we have presented as many ideas to you as possible, so that we minimize changes after we begin construction.

Is there a warranty for my basement?

We provide a one-year warranty on our workmanship. With any cabinetry, appliances, or other manufactured items that we use in our project, all manufacturing warranties belong to the client.

Am I stuck with the existing conditions that are there now?

Here we have good news and great news.  The good news is that nearly every home basement has some existing plumbing rough-ins and the great news is that it can be moved to anywhere the final design needs it to be.  When it comes to those pesky teleposts that are always right where you don’t want them, the good news is that they can become a part of the design and dressed up as columns, or archways for example.  The great news is that they can be moved most of the time, although this requires some engineering and additional cost.  We can discuss the cost-benefit of moving them if you desire.

Most of the wiring and pipes in your ceiling can be shuffled to allow for custom ceiling work, which is an area we focus a lot of attention to because a great ceiling design can make or break your finished product.

Hot water heaters and furnaces typically can’t be moved economically, but we are very creative in our design so as to conceal them inconspicuously and blend with the rest of your new space.

Is my home going to be safe while workers are here?

We are happy to report that we have never had an issue with privacy and security.  Along with installing a security door, if possible, between the basement space and your living area we also have been working with our sub-contractors for many years, some nearly 20 years.